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The term “drum mixer” can refer both to a large drum used for mixing and to the insert used to mix or agitate the contents of a drum. Drum mixers can be sold as a package or individually, along with accessories and other components that might be useful for various mixing applications. They are available for industrial operations such as blending paints as well as sanitary settings such as pharmaceutical and food production. Numerous companies offer a lineup of products that have different options from which to choose.
Drums can be useful for mixing because of their watertight configuration, maneuverability and stackability. Drum mixers in the form of inserts for drums typically fit through the standardized bung at the opening of the drum. Some designs consist of an agitator attached to a lid that can be clamped over the entire opening, not just the bung. This allows the operator to add components, insert the mixer and turn it on to blend the contents inside the drum. After removing the mixer, it is possible for the drum to be packaged for storage or shipment, with a self-contained mix prepared for use.
This type of drum mixer can allow companies to mix and match batches of various sizes, because it will fit on any standardized drum and can be moved throughout a factory as needed. When not in use, it might fold down for especially compact storage. Folding also is useful for shipment, whereas bulky items can be expensive to transport. This can allow for transport of a drum mixer to a job site so that workers can blend paints and other construction materials on the site instead of having to mix them away from the site and transport them to where they will be used.
Stationary drum mixers on the factory floor might have larger mixing paddles and scrapers. The operator fills the drum, activates the mixer and then drains the contents to another container for packaging. Mixing drums can be held in stands or racks and often can be rotated to make sure that the contents are thoroughly intermixed. Producers of drum mixers can produce designs that can be sterilized to allow operators to mix food or drug products inside them without risking contamination.
Selection of a drum mixer requires thinking about how it will be used. Different drum mixer designs are available for various tasks and come in an array of sizes to handle different batches. Large companies might need extremely large drums to handle all of their materials as efficiently and smoothly as possible. Smaller drums can be suitable for other companies that have lower-capacity needs or limited floorspace for mixers and other components.